Source A was written by an American academic over fifty years after Roosevelt's presidency. This makes the source more reliable because the writer would not have been influenced by outside pressures. Writing fifty years after the time meant James T Patterson had access to a range of information and sources of differing opinions. However, Patterson was writing about Roosevelt's thoughts and opinions without actually having interviewed him. An interview with Roosevelt would have strengthened his source.
The writer's account of Roosevelt's involvement in the New Deal is undeniably biased towards Roosevelt.Compared to Source F, which accuses the New Deal of placing too much strain on large businesses and Roosevelt of not doing the hard work himself, Source A casts Roosevelt in a very positive light. 'He was concerned with more than just improving his own position..
... He wanted to help the ordinary people..
. he projected the image of a man who cares. ' Source A indicates how Roosevelt wanted to 'help the ordinary people', which is supported by evidence of the Social Security Act and Roosevelt's support of the unions.The source shows how Roosevelt maintained an 'image of a man who cares' through his 'fireside chats' and his attempts to reply to every letter he received, like the letter in Source B. However, Source A does not mention that there were criticisms of Roosevelt or that because Roosevelt was so determined the re-establish the strength of America's economy, many workers' jobs were sacrificed.
Source A is a useful and reliable account of Roosevelt's involvement in the New Deal, however, it does not include all the interpretations of his influence so it is only useful to an extent.Source E and F are both sets of statistics. Which of these sources is the more useful to an historian studying the impact of the New Deal on the USA? Source E is a useful source because it reveals the impact of Roosevelt's New Deal on unemployment in America, by comparing pre-New Deal statistics with post-New Deal statistics. In particular it shows the success of it, because unemployment fell during the years of the New Deal. However, the source only provides information on one aspect of the New Deal's influence on American life, which was unemployment.
Other aspects such as public attitude, or how women, Black Americans and Native American's lives were affected by the New Deal are not mentioned. Nor does the graph indicate why the percentages of unemployment rose and fell at certain times. For example it does not explain that unemployment rose in 1938 because Roosevelt was forced to make budget cuts or that it fell again in 1939 because America joined the war which provided plenty of employment. Source F is useful because it indicates that there actually were criticisms to the New Deal and that it was very unpopular with big businesses.The source is not factual and only gives one view of the New Deal, other opinions or interpretations are not included. How the New Deal affected other people such as Black Americans, Native Americans or Women are not mentioned.
In fact the source contains no positive opinions of the New Deal at all. But Source F does show that one Big business disliked how much power the New Deal took away from them, and felt Roosevelt interfered too much but from my own knowledge I know this opinion was held by most Big businesses.Big business' opinion mattered because they were the most powerful in America at that time. Both sources are useful sources, Source E because it is factual and shows the successes of the New Deal in unemployment and Source F is useful because it gives an opposing opinion to the New Deal. So both sources are useful on particular aspects of the New Deal .
Therefore neither source is more useful because they are both as informative and limited as each other. 'Roosevelt was bold.He told people what he was going to do. And he did it. But he was not bold enough' Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? It is undeniable that Roosevelt was bold, he was innovative and his policies were revolutionary, they really set the tone for future politics. Despite opposition from large business, Roosevelt turned America from a purely Capitalist to a Welfare state.
Never before in America had the government taken responsibility for its people as they did with the 1935 Social Security Act.The acts and agencies Roosevelt created such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Social Security Act, provided jobs, improved living conditions, strengthened and encouraged unions and raised the standard of working conditions in industry. For example the TVA brought electricity and employment to Tennessee, it also created damns for irrigation because the area suffered terrible droughts and this made farming possible. At the beginning of the New Deal nearly a quarter of the able work force of America were unemployed.Within four years Roosevelt had reduced that statistic by 10%.
Evidence of this is in Source E. Although, Source E was published by the US government therefore is unreliable and does not include other influences to the rise and fall of unemployment during this period, it does show that it fell during the New Deal years. Not only did Roosevelt's New Deal provide millions of jobs generally, it also specifically created opportunities for Black Americans, Native Americans and women that they had never had before.Many black people benefited from the CCC, slum clearances and housing projects. Likewise many Native Americans benefited because of the Indian Reorganisation act which provided them with the money to buy and improve land, and the Indian Reservation Act which enabled the Indians to preserve and practise their own traditions, laws and culture. Women also benefited from the New Deal as many began to achieve prominent positions, for example Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Macleod Bethune.
In Source C Frances Perkins writes "the 'New Deal' meant that the forgotten man, the little man, the man nobody knew much about, was going to be dealt better cards to play with' This little 'man' not only meant the poor farmers and industrial workers but also the Black Americans, the Native Americans and the women. Source C may be biased because it was written by an ex-employee of Roosevelt's, however, the writer was a woman with the prominent position of Secretary of Labour in Roosevelt's government.The National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the Second New Deal measures strengthened unions and made large anti-union corporations such as Ford, recognise and negotiate with them, The Wagner Act also made firing a worker for being a member of a union illegal. The Unions were helped greatly by Roosevelt's influence and working conditions improved because of the pressure they were able to apply. Roosevelt managed to stabilise the US banking system by closing and assessing every bank during the 'hundred days' and reduce business failure.
Roosevelt restored the public's faith in their own government, as source A shows 'he projected the image of a man who cared' through his 'fireside chats... and his attention to the avalanche of mail that poured into the White House'.
Source B is an example of Roosevelt's success at persuading the public that he was doing what he promised he would do, the source ends 'I never heard of a President like you' because for the writer of that letter 'everything is alright now,' though they may not all be letters of praise.Source B is just an example of the 5000 to 8000 letters he received everyday, however my own knowledge proves that this is accurate example of the majority of letters Roosevelt received. Despite the successes of the New Deal, Roosevelt was still criticised. He was criticised for not doing enough to improve the economy, to strengthen the unions or to properly resolve unemployment.
Source E shows in 1938 unemployment was on the increase again because Roosevelt was forced to cut the budget, and was only reduced again because of the war. Black Americans, despite the many benefits they received, were still discriminated against.Native Americans also remained poor and excluded members of society. The New Deal was mainly aimed at men and some local government tried to avoid paying Social Security to women by introducing special conditions and qualifications to receive them, so women were also not completely satisfied with the New Deal. However, Roosevelt also received criticism for interfering too much. Big business felt that the New Deal's Social Security act meant that Roosevelt was taking money off the rich and hard working and giving it to the poor and lazy.
They felt that Roosevelt's high taxes discouraged hard work. Source F and G are both good examples of this opinion, because both are written by 'big businessmen' and are also primary sources of evidence. Although they both only give examples of one business firm's opinions, Source H confirms these opinions to be accurate representations of most firms' opinions because it is an ironic advertising campaign stating 'There is no way like the American way' financed by a group of large businesses in 1936.Businesses also felt that the TVA created unfair competition for private companies and that the government should not have supported unions or called for higher wages because the market should be left to deal with these issues itself.
. Many people felt that some of the New Deal schemes were similar to that of the Communist Soviet Union and was not suitable for the free market US. The New Deal was also criticised for be too complicated and undermining local governments. Many people felt that the New Deal divided the US.Despite these various different criticisms Roosevelt and the New Deal appear to have been enough to have saved America.
Unemployment fell; many lives were drastically improved, including the Black Americans', Native Americans' and Women's and valuable resources, such as schools, roads and PowerStations were provided. Roosevelt was bound to receive criticism from big business because they were never going to accept America's need for a shift of power, and he was also never going to completely solve America's problems because there were just far too many.Roosevelt himself was a successful President because he kept his promises and made himself available to the public, he maintained their confidence and he kept them well informed through his 'fireside' chats and his inspiring speeches, for example his speech in Source I 'The basic things expected by our people are simple, They are: equal opportunity for youth and others, jobs for those who can work, security for who need it and the ending of special privileges for the few. .
Source D is a photograph of Roosevelt visiting a CCC in Virginia, although this is a photograph and could therefore be a posed or manipulated image, it is yet another example of Roosevelt keeping in touch with the people. America could not have been too discontented with him or the New Deal because he was re-elected for a second term in the white House.If Roosevelt had been bolder he would have been further criticised by big business and if he had not been as bold as he was, the majority of America would have continued living in total poverty, Roosevelt's New Deal was very successful and kept both sides relatively happy, he could have done no more, therefore Roosevelt and the New Deal were just right.